Disclaimer: I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho. Or Valentine's Day, White Day, chocolate or ribbons.
A huge thank you to my wonderful beta, Jordan, who often has to bring all her English Major skills to the table to help me and the crap I manage to write down.
Background Information: In Japan, Valentine's Day is considered more of a holiday for boys. Girls give boys chocolates; giri choco (obligatory chocolate) for boys they consider friends and honmei choco (prospective winner chocolate) for boys they fancy. If a girl makes the chocolate from scratch it is considered a sign of deep love and affection.
A month later, White Day occurs, and boys are supposed to return the favor in triple return. They give a myriad of things, from candies and marshmallows to jewelry and lingerie. According to nation master dot com, "Originally, the custom was that a man would give a white ribbon to the woman he had feelings for, and if a woman was given a ribbon by a man she had feelings for, and he tied it on for her, their love would last forever. However, the giving of a ribbon can sometimes be a sign of friendship, and does not always signify love."
Chocolates and Ribbons
by Touch of Violet
Yusuke had forgotten what day it was. Hell, he had forgotten what freaking month it was. As soon as the day was over, he was going to spring for a calendar. Or, at least steal one. Something! It figured – the one day he decided to go to school in a week and it happened to be Valentine's Day.
He scowled at the other students in the hall, shoving his hands in his pockets when they cleared away for him. Some of the boys already had a handful of chocolate and the first bell hadn't even wrung yet.
Who wanted an armful of gross chocolate, anyway?
Not Yusuke Urameshi, that was for sure. He certainly didn't want any nasty chocolate.
He made it to his homeroom and took a seat in the back. Yusuke's scowl deepened and he slumped in his seat and drummed his fingers on the desk, trying to ignore the different giggling girls giving boys boxes of chocolate.
One brown haired girl looked at him in mid-giggle during an exchange. The smile quickly wiped off her face when she became the focal point of his glare. She "eep"ed and turned away from him.
Yusuke smirked, proud of himself for intimidating a school girl while she was handing out boxes of giri chocolates to every boy in the homeroom; every boy except him, of course.
'Be afraid,' he thought, narrowing his eyes at her as she continued placing boxes of giri chocolate on desks that other boys often sat at. 'Be very afraid.' He almost let out a laugh when she realized he was staring at her again. She practically jumped out of her skin before turning on her heel and running back to her seat.
Stupid girls; stupid chocolate.
He really should not have gotten up. He should've just slept in all morning – maybe the arcade in the afternoon. Beat up that moron Kuwabara and then dinner at the Yukimura Ramen Shop. Now, that would have been much better than having to spend Valentine's Day in a sea of stupid girls giving stupid chocolate to stupid boys.
The teacher entered the room, stopping all the giggling and exchanging, and Yusuke lowered his head to his desk, preparing himself for a well deserved nap.
Yusuke yawned and sat down on the school's roof.
"I hate gym," he mumbled to himself, eyes half lidded in an attempt to block out the sunlight.
The school day was almost over. He contemplated not only skipping out on gym but his last three classes as well. The arcade was practically calling his name.
He had seen more boxes of chocolate than he had ever seen in his entire life; some of the more popular boys were even already logging around bags full of the crap over their shoulders. Yusuke growled quietly. He'd probably be the only boy in the entire school without chocolates today. Which was just fine by him – he didn't want any of the nasty chocolates, and he certainly didn't want attention from the girls at this school! He didn't care. He didn't like chocolate. He didn't like holidays. He didn't like any of the girls at school. He didn't like anybody at the school. He didn't care at all.
The door to the roof opened and Yusuke put his hands behind his head. There were only two choices for who could be opening the door; either a teacher or Keiko. Frankly, he'd rather have to deal with a teacher. At least that way he wouldn't have to be witness to all the chocolate she'd still need to hand out.
Unfortunately for him, Keiko walked out of the doorway and frowned at him. "Ditching gym again, huh?"
He grunted and closed his eyes. "It looks like you're ditchin' too, sweetheart."
He could hear her footsteps as she walked towards him, stopping right in front of him. Her body cast a shadow over him and kept the sunlight off his face. Yusuke cracked an eye open and immediately held his breath. She looked like an angel in pig tails, the sun a halo behind her.
"I came to see you," she replied somewhat shyly, averting her gaze and fiddling with her bag.
Yusuke grunted again. "I'm not gonna help you hand out chocolates – I don't care how hard it is for you to carry all of 'em."
She glared at him. "I don't need your help passing out chocolates."
"Oh?" He questioned, lying down on his back and closing his eyes. "Got it all done already then, hmm? Given chocolate to anything male that breathes, Keiko?" He cracked one eye open, reaching out a hand and casually lifting up her skirt. "You even wore hearts, Keiko! How festive of you. I'm sure all the guys will love it!"
Keiko reeled back her leg and kicked him in the side. Yusuke grunted and dropped her skirt, both hands flying to hold his injured ribs. Her bag snapped open and he felt something drop on his torso. Yusuke opened both eyes and saw a small, heart shaped box lying on his stomach. Raising an eyebrow, he glanced up at Keiko.
She glared down at him, a dark blush staining her cheeks. "You're the only one I got chocolates for. Jerk." Keiko spun on her heel and turned around, quickly storming off the roof.
Yusuke propped himself up on his elbows and looked at the box. Pushing aside the wave of guilt that crashed against him, he sat up completely. He opened the box and his heart dropped.
"Damn it," he groaned, "she made 'em herself."
The guilt crashed into him full force as he looked down at her creation. She had taken the time to make these from scratch and he had treated her ... and spoken to her …
Yusuke hung his head. God, he was such an asshole.
He fumbled to his feet and ran after her, the box in hand. Taking the steps from the roof to the top floor of the junior high school three at a time, he managed to catch up to her before she stepped off into the deserted hallway.
"Keiko, wait," he begged, grabbing on to her upper arm.
She stopped in mid step and glared over her shoulder. "What?"
"You," he paused, looking at the box in his hands, suddenly unable to look her in the face. "You made these?"
He could see her nod out of his peripheral vision. "Yes," she cleared her throat, her voice an octave lower than normal. "I made those for you."
Yusuke's breath stuck in his throat and he fought the blush he felt rising on his cheeks. "Uh, thanks," he managed. He let go of her arm and rubbed the back of his neck, unsure of what to say. In his whole life, he had never received homemade chocolates before. In fact, the only chocolates he ever received on Valentine's Day had always been from Keiko, and had always been the type that she gave out to every male in her life.
Keiko sighed and turned to face him. "Well, don't thank me until you've tried them. After all," she paused, the very faintest of twinkles appearing in her eyes, "maybe they're poisoned."
Yusuke glared at her half heartedly as she handed him a small chocolate from the box, inwardly sighing in relief. He never could quite figure her out; how she could go from one extreme to the other so quickly. Always so quick to get angry, but equally as fast to forgive – not that he was complaining. "After practically admitting to poisoning them, you want me to try a piece?"
Keiko nodded, smiling gently. "Don't you trust me, Yusuke?"
He arched an eyebrow, but reached out and carefully took the chocolate out of her fingertips. Ignoring the blush that threatened to emerge from the brief contact, he popped the chocolate in his mouth.
His eyes widened in surprise as he chewed and Keiko giggled.
Yusuke nodded fervently, swallowing. "Really good." He grabbed a couple more out of the heart shaped box and stuffed them in his mouth. "I'm impressed," he managed to murmur out around the chocolate.
Keiko placed the box in his hands and smiled again. "Good. Happy Valentine's Day." She walked off the steps and into the hallway. Pausing, she said, "Oh, and," she blushed and started to walk away from him, "the hearts were purely coincidental."
He chuckled, fighting against the feeling of guilt that crept over him again. Maybe he wouldn't ditch the rest of the day. He might not have gotten a bag full of chocolates, but his one box of Keiko's homemade chocolates made up for all of that.
Yusuke sighed, popping a few more into his mouth and meandering back up to the roof.
It was still a stupid holiday and now he'd actually have to steal a calendar because White Day was in a month and after making him chocolates this stupid holiday, he knew Keiko would murder him if he forgot that stupid holiday.
A month came and went, in much the same way previous months in his thirteen years had come and gone – with very little importance. He missed about 12 days worth of school, his mom was gone every night, he beat up that idiot at least once every other day and he otherwise struck terror in the lives of those around him.
He thought about what to get Keiko. Sure, he could probably nab something nice, but he doubted she'd like it if he gave her stolen goods. His jaw throbbed at the mere thought of her reaction. But without stealing anything, his choice of a gift was extremely limited to something he could buy for free.
In the end, he had settled on something that didn't cost him anything of monetary value. However, going through with it took a huge toll on his ego. He could only hope she understood what he was doing for her.
God, this was a stupid holiday.
He shoved his hands in his pockets, his right hand instinctively wrapping around the gift stored there. This was a stupid holiday, he was giving her a stupid, sappy gift, and it was all just so – stupid!
Yusuke decided White Day was a dumb holiday. All the girls had to do was give boys chocolates. The boys had to return the favor 'three-fold'. There was a large part of him that just wanted to give his middle finger to the tradition and pretend like the holiday wasn't actually occurring.
But then there was another part, an annoying and nagging and constantly talking part, that would have felt too terrible about blowing off the holiday and ignoring Keiko's sentiment. She was his friend. His … well, his only friend, and somehow, his best friend. He'd known her since before he could use a toilet by himself. And since she didn't give anybody else anything for Valentine's Day, he was her only option for presents.
And something didn't sit right in him; Keiko being the only girl in the school who ended up empty handed on White Day.
He glared at the other students in the hallway and made his way to the roof. Yusuke had already chickened out three times and needed to just get away from all the stupid crap already.
A lot of the other girls had already gotten gifts – white chocolates, marshmallows, jewelry. And the worst was part was Keiko looking at him like she didn't expect him to get her anything. Like she already decided he wouldn't come through for her. Now that pissed him off. Sure, he'd never given her anything on any other White Day. Ever. But she'd never made him chocolates before either.
He sat down on the roof with a loud, exaggerated sigh. He wasn't any good with all this mushy crap. Protect her, fine. Uh, admire her female form, no problem. But all the mushy crap was just … just stupid!
The door to the roof opened with a cautious squeak and Yusuke held his breath. Keiko stepped through the frame and turned her attention on him. With her cinnamon colored eyes sparkling in the sunlight, she made her way over and sat down next to him.
Yusuke finally released his breath.
"You've been avoiding me," she stated with a slight smile.
He crossed his arms against his chest and scowled at her knees.
"Yusuke!" Keiko said, sounding exasperated. "It's okay. Really." She placed a hand on his shoulder. "I didn't expect anything. Honest."
"Damn it, Keiko," he snapped, shrugging her hand off of him. "This is just like you. Thinking you know me. Thinking you've got me all figured out."
Keiko raised a hand to cover her mouth. "Yusuke?" She questioned unsurely. "You … you didn't forget?"
He dropped his arms and glanced at her quickly, finding it hard to breathe. "Keiko," he sighed. He shook his head and turned to face her.
Carefully, he reached out both hands and pulled out the pink hair ties that held her pig tails in place. She watched him with wide eyes as he ran his fingers quickly through her brown hair, it falling into place around her pretty face.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a white ribbon.
"Yusuke," she gasped in a whisper of a voice.
Yusuke scooted closer to her and ran his fingers through her hair again. "Come," he cleared his throat, ignoring the painful thumping against his chest, "come here."
Keiko obediently scooted closer to him. She rested her forehead against his shoulder. He gently smoothed out her hair, running his fingers like a comb through it to gather it at the base of her neck. Carefully, he tied the white ribbon around her soft brown hair. For a moment longer than necessary, he ran the palm of his hand over her scalp before curling his fingers in her pony tail. "There," he whispered, pulling away from her.
She raised her head from his shoulders, her eyes shining with unshed tears.
Yusuke smiled softly at her. "Happy White Day, Keiko."
The bell rang. She smiled brightly, eyes crinkling. "Oh, Yusuke! I love it!" She kissed his cheek with a loud SMACK! and jumped to her feet. "Now, come on. The bell rang." She grabbed on to his hand and tugged him to his feet. "I'll walk you to class."
Stunned, Yusuke allowed himself to be pulled down the stairs and into the hallway. When she let go of his hand, he found his voice again. "Oh, I see how it is," he muttered as they walked towards his classroom door. "You don't trust me to go to class on my own."
Keiko bumped her shoulder against his arm and smiled up at him, ignoring the looks they were receiving for walking so close to one another while a white ribbon was tied in her hair. "Not on your life, Urameshi."
Please, review (I'll love you forever if you do!) ^_^ Hey, that rhymed.